Facebook Battles Fake News
Last week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed a game changing Facebook update: fake news alerts. Made popular by US President Donald Trump during his campaign, “fake news” has been voted the word of the year for 2016-2017. Popularized by Fox News and other news networks that have questionable reliability and reporting track records, “fake news” has become an international crisis. Citizens rely on news networks to deliver unbiased stories that highlight all angles of a story. That way, citizens can draw their own opinions and conclusions. Not only have certain groups and citizens rebelled, the Facebook CEO has as well.
Facebook is the most used social media platform in the world. With 1.86 billion monthly active users and an estimated 81 million fake Facebook user accounts, how many fake news status’ could there be? Far too many. Ethically, individuals are being fed unreliable information that could impair their conclusions and opinions. However, fake news sharing can negatively impact company reputations and industries as well. Did you know that Google began penalizing your online results if you have unreliable and suspicious information? Previously Google and Facebook’s algorithms were not equipped to detect fake news but both companies are working closely to constantly improve the accuracy and efficiency of their algorithms. For some, this is countering online reputation management efforts and strategies. For others, it will help them.
Zuckerberg admitted in an interview with Fast Company that the problem is not completely solved. Their algorithm can still use improvement. At the same time, there are some online reputation management and content firms that are getting more creative with how they create their content making it harder to detect the authenticity of the content for Facebook. Withal, both Google and Facebook’s algorithm can test the authenticity of content from new reporting sites easier. These websites are crawled more often by Google due to their heavy traffic and authority. Similar to Facebook with news reporting pages.
Despite Facebook’s battle against fake news, Zuckerberg also admits that it is not Facebook’s place to impose their morals onto the world. They can warn, alert users about fake news or penalize it but taking it down is stepping into the “freedom of speech” debate. Thus, many companies or individuals that are being extorted due to fake news turn to the online reputation management industry. The online reputation management industry is one that works against Google and social media platform algorithms. However, with the international battle against fake news, it may be the first time in the industry’s history that Google and online reputation management companies collaborate. Although the potential collaboration is unlikely, the online reputation management industry is hopeful as they are trying to achieve the same goals as Google and Facebook: authenticity, ethics, and the truth.
Combat fake news by contacting an online reputation management company today. Protect yourself and contribute to international integrity.